Xenz, a British street artist from Hull in England has created a painted jungle on concrete pillars in Sandvika, Oslo. Taking five days to complete it was produced by the team at Street Art Oslo. The columns hold up the Sandvika Railway Bridge.
With a practice forged in the abandoned warehouses of Hull, Xenz is an artist with a graffiti background. His style has evolved over the years. Now he says that there is an irony in the fact that he can use spray paint to decorate rather than damage. That’s certainly what he’s done in Oslo. His natural scenes decorating a quite brutalist surface serve to very much soften the space.
Concrete Jungle video with Xenz
“What this space needed was something more subtle” said James Finucane from Street Art Oslo. “Something that enhances this stunning architecture as opposed to camouflaging it. In total a surface area of 200m2 was covered. The project gave Xenz the opportunity to make some comparisons between the impressionist and graffiti movements.
“Putting paint in tubes gave the Impressionists the opportunity to work ‘en plein air’ for the first time” he said. “In the same way, the portable nature of spray paint created new opportunities for making art in the streets like never before. I grew up painting in derelict warehouses in Hull but it wasn’t so much about replicating the New York style graffiti we were seeing in magazines and TV programmes. For me it was about using the tools and techniques of graffiti – which were readily available to anyone – to make the environment around us more beautiful.”
Xenz Graeme Brusby, b. 1974) is a graduate of Edinburgh College of Art and has worked as an artist for over 20 years. He started painting graffiti at just 14-years-old, inside the derelict warehouses of Hull, England. Gradually, he has developed a completely distinctive and experimental style, where he uses spray cans to paint landscapes inhabited by birds and butterflies. He has lived in Bristol where he painted alongside members of the renowned graffiti crew TCF, as well as artists such as Banksy and Inkie. He has also participated in exhibitions in the United Kingdom, Miami, New York, Basel, Ibiza, New Delhi and Sydney. For the past year and a half he has been living in Rome.